Too Much Free Time

Discussion and reviews of games for NES, Intellivision, DOS, and others.

First Impressions: Novatron

Posted by Tracy Poff on June 24, 2008

Novatron is a DOS lightcycles (tron) game released by VeriSoft Works in 1982.

First Impressions: Novatron

There have been quite a lot of lightcycle games through the years–MobyGames lists 10, though I suspect it’s missing quite a few. The most recent that MobyGames lists is for the Xbox 360 (Tron, 2008), and the oldest is for the Intellivision (Snafu, 1981). Novatron is a fairly old example of this type of game, and it shows.


Though the graphics are fairly nice, and the controls responsive, Novatron is quite difficult to play. The keys used to control your lightcycle are F9, F10, Insert, and Delete, which are poorly placed. It’s been a while since I’ve seen an original IBM PC keyboard, but I don’t recall that they would have been in ideal positions on that keyboard either. Positioning aside, I kept confusing which of Ins and Del turned which direction, so I lost quite badly. Too, I found it difficult to tell just how much space I had left before running into a wall, probably due to the viewing angle.

In short, the game isn’t terrible, but isn’t really worth playing when there are so many better examples of the type. Personally, I’d recommend Armagetron Advanced.

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